Mexican club Pumas UNAM confirmed the transfer of winger Pablo Barrera to West Ham United of the English Premier League. The announcement came on Friday at 12:00 p.m. local time Mexico City.
“We were successful to finalize the contract for Pablo Barrera to West Ham, where he will arrive for four years so that in two or three he can be placed at another club,” was the statement made to the Mexico media by Víctor Mahbub, Pumas UNAM club president.
“We reached an agreement satisfactory to both parties, all this was not dealt with any representative, everything was club to club and in regards to both institutions we agreed to the transfer of the player,” said Mahbub.
West Ham has confirmed to ESPN Soccernet that they expect to sort out a work permit for the Mexican winger and will complete the transfer "in the next seven days." The Hammers made their move with a £4 million bid, notably outbidding other leading candidates Espanyol and Everton.
Pumas UNAM sporting director Mario Trejo said, "I must admit that after analyzing the offers of Espanyol, West Ham and Everton, there's is one that has convinced us more than the rest."
Scouting "El Dinamita"
Barrera, 23 years old, was part of Mexico’s 2010 World Cup squad that qualified to the knockout phase by placing second in Group A.
Throughout the World Cup, several clubs were scouting Barrera because of his good composure, ball control, ability to take on defenders with ease, and his explosive speed that has earned him the nickname “Dynamite.”
Manchester United, one of the clubs scouting Barrera, posted a report on their site based on Mexico’s 2-0 victory over France. United writers describe the key moment as follows:
“Dribbled with lots of pace from the right side of the centre circle, beating Patrice Evra for pace, before bursting into the penalty area and forcing Eric Abidal into a foul. It won Mexico a penalty to secure a second goal and a crucial Group A victory.”
Additionally, Barrera was a member of the Mexico national squad that conquered the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 5-0 thrashing of the United States Men’s national team in the final.
Pablo Barrera has encountered success at the club level as well. Pumas UNAM are Mexican Primera Division Champions of the Clausura 2009 season and were runner-up for the Apertura 2007 season. Both of those accomplishments earned Pumas UNAM qualification into the respective CONCACAF Champions League campaign following those seasons.
Barrera Aiming to Make Starting Squad
“I am very happy to go there and be successful, I had been thinking about it at the World Cup and luckily I was given the opportunity, I have to arrive and succeed, earn a starting position and to transcend in European soccer”, Pablo Barrera told reporters .
Barrera implied that he is eager to make the trip to England as soon as possible. “I have anxiety to meet my teammates, to know the facilities, the court, everything,” he said.
When asked about the difficulties about transitioning to a different culture, Barrera assured reporters that although he doesn’t speak English he will work diligently to learn the language. “I'll give it all because I want to stay there and it’s not going to be that (not knowing the language) something that keeps me from staying there,” Barrera concluded.